Thursday, April 05, 2007

MotoGP: Neil Hodgson Signs as Ducati Test Rider

Former World Superbike champion Neil Hodgson has been signed up as the official Bridgestone Ducati test rider with immediate effect, according to MCN.
The Englishman had failed to find a ride for this year after Ducati pulled out of AMA Superbike at the end of last season, largely due to the Americans' refusal to allow Ducati the kind of technical advantages that they wanted.
It's great news for Hodgson, who will soon get to ride the new 800cc Duke. His previous MotoGP experience was a miserable season on a year-old 990cc D'Antin Ducati, which was a creaking pile of junk on worthless tyres.
If Hodge gets the chance to ride at tests with the other teams, he will hopefully be able to impress his way into another MotoGP ride. He is highly popular among bike racing fans in the UK, due to his openness and wicked sense of humour. (This was shown to hilarious effect when he joined the British Eurosport commentators, including his old friend and ex-racer James Whitham, for WSBK race 1 at Donington. The trio didn't realise they were live on air yet, and sat there swearing and bad-mouthing the presenter back in the studio.)
It is ridiculous that Hodgson could find no ride for this year, as he is clearly quick, and a sponsor's dream. Hopefully this will lead to a decent full-time ride.

Update 7 Sep 2007: Hodgson signs for American Honda

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